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How small is too small(bantam hen)for healthy egg-laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lil'turkeymama, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. lil'turkeymama

    lil'turkeymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2010
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    I have a question about the size of bantam hens and egg size.I have one black mutt hen that I have had about 1 year.She lays fairly well.I have a roo and 2 hens I hatched from her last year.These "mutt" bantams are small.But I'm not real sure how small they really are.I also have 4 purebred bantam hens,2 silver duckwing and 2 BB reds.I have a roo of each kind with the hens.These are about 10 months old.The SDW are are quite small and the BBR hens are tiny.I mean really tiny,like the size of a 2-3 week old large breed chicken.One of my SDW hens laid her first 2 eggs this past week.She became egg-bound with her third egg.I research what to do for her and did remove a soft-shelled egg from her.While doing this research I read about bantams being bred down too small to safely lay eggs.And should be CULLED when they have problems laying eggs.So now I'm thinking maybe my hens are too small.I got them beause I wanted small eggs for pickleling.I have always loved pickled quail eggs but when I tried raising my own I found out I don't like quail.I mean they're nice and pretty and I love to hear them call,I just didn't like having them when I had rather have chickens.So now I have these really amazing tiny,little bantams and I am afraid it will hurt/kill them to lay eggs.Is it true they can be too small?I just figured a little hen laid a little egg.I thought each hen layed a egg according to her size,i.e. big hen,big egg,little hen,little egg.This is kinda freaking me out.I mean,I really,really like these little bantams.I am so hoping someone can help me figure this out.Thanks so much for reading this and I look forward to hearing/learning more about these birds.
     
  2. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2012
    There are so many things I didn't know I needed to be worried about but everyday another thing to look out for pops up...I hope your hens aren't too small....That is awful.
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Well I have bantams and one of my Nankin girls lays a nice sized egg for her size. She is older than the other Nankins, and so her eggs are larger. Now of course she has just gone broody again (they are known for that). I wouldn't worry about the bantam size of the chicken.

    Here are two suggestions.

    The more protein you feed, the larger the eggs. Don't go under 15 or 16% protein in the feed. But if you are up there with a 20% feed and having hens go eggbound with large eggs, then you might consider diluting your protein with some treats just a tad. But if it were me, I'd not worry about that so much. I'd simply consider the eggbound situation as an individual problem and go from there.

    Offer oyster shell for calcium on the side to prevent soft-shelled eggs, even when feeding a layer pellet with calcium.

    I haven't had to deal with eggbound hens, but there are many many people with bantams that have no problems. If you love your banties then keep them!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2012
    I have a smallish chicken that lays extra large sized eggs, and I don't know how she does it...other than loudly...haven't had to deal with any egg related issues, other than when will laying start anxiety...
     

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